How to build your business online through inbound marketing.
Building a growing prospect list and creating quality leads for your sales team is the goal of any business, but it is not always the easiest task to accomplish. Many businesses are reluctant to invest resources into the short-term to experience the long-term results of a strong online marketing strategy. The benefit to making the investment is having a steady stream of leads and clients finding you instead of having to worry about cold-calling.
These 4 steps will help you lay out a game plan for building a lead-generating online presence.
Step 1: Content
Content, content, content. The more content you have, the more prospects will come to your website. Giving something of value before you are actually selling your product or service goes a long way in building trust with your prospects. The return of giving away valuable content comes in the form of lifetime value of a customer.
If you are able to draw in prospects with valuable free content and eventually convert them into a customer, the lifetime value of that customer is worth much more than the time it takes to create a blog, or video, or downloadable guide. Your return is not always instant, but invest now for a greater payoff later.
Step 2: Get Connected
Now that you have a good on-page SEO strategy and you’re creating great content, you need a network of fans to share all of your hard work with. You could pull out your rolodex and start calling everyone you’ve ever met to let them know you have just published an entire page of infographics, but that’s time consuming and a little “telemarkety.”
Instead you should turn to online social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These allow you to communicate with people who are giving you permission to passively reach out via tweets and status updates. You can also reach thousands of potential prospects in mere seconds; try doing that with your rolodex.
Step 3: Engage
Now that you’ve had the chance to connect with potential prospects online (don’t worry about how many at first, worry more about the quality) you need to engage them. The best way to engage an audience is to think “sharing” rather than “promoting” (DJs on Facebook take note – they are notorious self-promoters).
Using DJs as an example, I’ve seen some who do an excellent job of sharing their music or videos from their shows, and others who only promote their events. They’re all very talented, but I’m more likely to engage with their music and videos than I am with a one-night event poster. Promotion isn’t all bad, just be sure it’s not the only thing you do.
Step 4: Capture Leads
Let’s see, you’ve created some great content, you’ve connected online, and you’ve shared and engaged with your online fanbase. All that’s left is turning some of these prospects into bonafide leads for your sales team to connect with.
Capturing leads online is done with the use of forms. Rather than giving away all of your content, depending on the value of the content you’ve created, you may decide that the “price” for it may be an email address (and thus allowing you to email market to – not spam – the prospects). Some content may be extremely valuable, like our Advanced Email Marketing Strategy eBook, which is why we require more than just an email for that. Someone looking to download an Advanced Strategy eBook is also likely closer to requiring the help of a professional team than someone who downloads our 10 Ways People Use LinkedIn For Business PDF.
Once you have captured some information from your prospects, they are one step closer to becoming your customer. It’s now up to your sales team to decide how to engage these leads. Make sure you use the intelligence from your forms to your advantage. If a lead is downloading a “10 Tips” list, they likely aren’t ready to spend tens of thousands of dollars, but they may be interested in your entry level offers.
Start your online marketing program today with professionally written content. Or, if you need some help finding direction or executing your vision, our team of experts would be happy to work with you. Learn about our Marketing Deployment Plans, meant to you on the path to lead generation.